Ok. Question. If you had to be impaled by a tree, anywhere on your body, where's the place you'd least like to be impaled? Now, we know that's a pretty weird question. Most of us, if we could choose, would like to never be impaled by any tree...ever. But putting that to one side, and throwing out the hypothetical scenario where you have to choose somewhere to be impaled by a tree, we'd hazard a guess and say that the groin region is somewhere that nobody in their right mind would like see to on the receiving end of a pointy tree limb.
Why are we talking about this? Why are we making you consider this genuinely horrible idea? Because, and we can't believe we're writing these words, news has emerged of a backcountry skier getting their downstairs region pierced by a tree in Montana. Just typing that sentence has made us feel a bit dizzy.
According to a press release from the Gallatin Media Center, "The impalement occurred in the groin and was bulging near the belly button." The accident is believed to have occurred at about 1:20pm in Hyalite Canyon (near an area known as History Rock). Incredibly, when you consider the brutal nature of his injuries, the solo-skier was able to hobble away from the incident and track down another group of skiers.
The skiers encountered offer the injured backcountry skier assistance, got a fire going, and sent members of their party off to alert Search and Rescue. After being extracted from the mountain (presumably in the most delicate way imaginably), a helicopter flew the victim to the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
Not only does this story serve as a stark reminder of how dangerous trees can be, it also shines a light on the risks of backcountry skiing by yourself. For reasons that probably don't need explaining, the skier's name has not been released.